Three Governor Candidates Who Could Affect Marijuana Legalization
The election is almost upon us! While some of us get the thrill of voting for state marijuana legalization (Michigan and North Dakota) or medical marijuana (Missouri and Utah), there are still plenty of races nationwide that can have a huge impact on the future of marijuana law reform.
This week, we teamed up with NORML to look at three House and three Senate races that could make a difference. We conclude today by looking at the three Governor races that will directly affect legalization in those states.
Governor – Yes to Florida’s Andrew Gillum
While Florida passed medical marijuana in 2016, the rollout has been fraught with difficulties, compounded by opposition to the issue by term-limited incumbent Gov. Rick Scott, who received a “D+” in NORML’s Gubernatorial Scorecard. Running to replace him as governor is Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (NORML: A), who has said, “we ought to make legal all forms of marijuana.” Gillum is officially endorsed by the NORML PAC.
His opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis (NORML: C+), opposes legalization on the grounds it “would make it harder for parents.” While he has voted in the House to protect medical marijuana states from federal interference, he also voted against increasing access to medical marijuana for our nation’s veterans. DeSantis would be an impediment to fully implementing Florida’s medical marijuana law and going further with recreational legalization.
Governor – No to Ohio’s Mike DeWine
Ohio rejected marijuana legalization in 2015, but its legislature enacted a strict medical marijuana law the next year. Throughout the process, Mike DeWine has been Ohio’s Attorney General, ruling against ballot initiatives to legalize and calling Colorado’s legalization an “absolute disaster.”
Oddly enough, DeWine (NORML: D) is running for governor against the Ohio Attorney General who preceded him, Richard Cordray (NORML: A-). Cordray supports recreational marijuana legalization and supports fixing the current medical marijuana program in Ohio to increase access. Cordray and DeWine and battling in one of the closest gubernatorial races in America, so your vote could definitely tip the scales in favor of legal marijuana in Ohio.
Governor – Yes to Idaho’s Paulette Jordan
Just northwest of Utah, Idaho is an island of prohibition, surrounded by legal and soon-to-be or current medical states and newly-legal Canada. Idaho would have become a CBD state back in 2016, like neighboring Wyoming, except outgoing governor Butch Otter vetoed a popular bipartisan bill to allow epileptic kids to use the life-saving cannabidiol oil. He’s still the only US governor to have vetoed CBD legislation, earning him an “F” grade in NORML’s Gubernatorial Scorecard.
Otter’s political clone, Lt. Gov. Brad Little (NORML: D+), is running against former State Rep. Paulette Jordan (NORML: A). Jordan recently appeared at a Cannabis Town Hall to voice her support for medical marijuana and repeated that support in subsequent televised debates against her opponent. If elected, Jordan would become the nation’s first Native American governor and Idaho might finally allow for some medicinal use of marijuana.
No matter where you live, there is something or someone on your ballot worth voting for or against. Visit vote.NORML.org to learn who is on your ballot and how they feel about marijuana.